Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay in Greece Called Off


Athens, March 13 (Jiji Press)--Greece's Hellenic Olympic Committee said Friday that the torch relay in the country for the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer has been canceled amid fears over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The relay in Greece started on Thursday after the lighting ceremony for the Olympic flame held the same day at the ruins of the Temple of Hera in the Olympia archaeological site.

The Olympic flame will be handed over to the Tokyo Games organizing committee next Thursday as planned, according to the Greek Olympic committee.

The HOC decided to call off the domestic torch relay following consultations with the Greek Health Ministry and the International Olympic Committee after many people took to streets to see the Olympic flame's travel despite the HOC's request not to come amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

In the relay in Greece, Mizuki Noguchi, the gold medalist of the women's marathon in the 2004 Athens Olympics, served as the second runner on Thursday, becoming the first Japanese to bear the torch in a relay for the Tokyo Olympics.

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